Quora Answer: Is It Haram for Muslims to Visit Israel?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ 

The following is my answer to a Quora question: “Is it haram for Muslims to visit Israel even for educational purposes? 

Why would it be haram?  If the argument is that Israel is unjust to Muslims, that list would include almost every Muslim nation from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan.  If the argument is that it is because Israel is oppressing Palestinians, then what about the same Muslim countries oppressing their own population on the basis of tribe, skin colour, class or even gender?  Is it haram to go for haj considering what the Saudis have been, and are still doing to places like Yemen, for their support of Israel, for their export of violence including seventeen out of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers? 

Despite contentions over its founding, Israel is another nation, and whatever issues we have with it are at a policy level.  We may agree that it is wrong, or unjustified.  We may agree that elements of the Israeli government are on record with fascist, racist and extreme statements.  But that is no reason to proscribe an entire nation and its citizenry.  We cannot hold every citizen of the state of Israel or every single Jew in the world responsible for the actions of some people.  We may rightly disagree and oppose certain policies on the basis of principle, ethics and international law, but we cannot condone the tarring of entire peoples on the basis of perceived associations. 

What Muslims should do, is support policies and their proponents within Israel, and find common cause on the basis of a shared humanity.  There are good, decent people there, just as there are good, decent people everywhere.  People’s personal values should matter more than their passport.


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